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Paper Clip - A dialogue that knows no borders

Paper clips with orange background

Early Beginnings 

When I was a kid, I was filled with intense feelings of excitement when I got something new.  Whether it was in a giftwrapped box (nothing like a little mystery to add to the excitement!) or something my Mom or Dad bought me, I had the same feelings - a rush of wonder, excitement, and fun.  I still remember that feeling and, to be honest, the kid in me still feels that way when I discover something novel, cool, or unique.  While the toys of my youth lost their luster for me (I still have a few that are keepsakes), that sense of newness, that spark when I find something that clicks with my life – I still feel it.  And I still love discovering new, cool, and unique items...especially when they solve some basic problem.  It reminds me of the joy I felt as a child and it comes alive again. 

Elegance in Simplicity  

For me, it is partly that I have found something that meets a need I have.  Hell, it may even be a need I didn’t know I had (yet)!  But if I see something in a catalogue or online somewhere, I get really curious and want to try it out.  And, as I have grown older, I find myself captivated by the design of things – how they function, what they do, and who designed them.  As innocuous as it may seem, someone once sat down and had an idea for a paper clip.  And it was wonderfully simple and practical and I’ll bet someone said “why didn’t I think of that?!”  That is where the beginning of the deeper connection is for me...someone thought about a problem and figured out their version of the most elegant way to address it.  A paper clip is about as elegantly simple as a thing can get...and there’s a certain beauty in that.  There is beauty too in the process of creation – recognizing a problem, conceiving a solution and then making it happen.  Maybe the paper clip inventor was not exactly Leonardo da Vinci but in their own way, they tapped into that same creative spirit of the inventor and they made something new.  Something cool.  Something unique.  I love that.   

Innovation for All 

The earliest patent of what may be considered a paperclip was filed, in the United States, by a man named Samuel B. Fay in 1867.  His version is not widely considered to be what we envision today as a “paper clip”.  That particular version is still known as the “Gem Paper Clip” and was being produced in Britain in the late 1870’s.  Who is to say who inspired who here?  The fact is that the design and creation of things is in a sort of constant dialogue.  A dialogue that knows no borders and with a universal language.  I love that too.  The fact that innovation and the creative spirit knows no borders actually gives me hope.  It reinforces the notion that we are in this together.  When an inventor creates something – they are essentially doing it for all of us.  And I believe that every invention plays a role in a sort of “call and response” that keeps making things better.  For all of us. 

Celebrating the Invention and the Inventor 

At Inbebo, our mission is to discover those inventions and their creators.  We want to celebrate them.  We are always searching for products that make us healthier, more efficient, and more able to focus on our busy lives.  We think that is important.  Every few weeks, we will introduce to you a couple of products and share why we think they are worth highlighting and why you should consider bringing them into your life.  As we do that, we want to remind ourselves – these are not just things we can buy - they are the manifestation of our shared human spirit of creativity.  A spirit of innovation that moves us all forward. That’s Inbebo.  

by Brian H.

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